Saturday 6 September 2014

Your Book Gets Pirated

The situation: a website is claiming to provide your masterpiece for free.

You feel: fury; fear.

There are few author frustrations as maddening as finding out that your book has been stolen by pirates. Sometimes, just to rub salt into the wound, you get a notification from a search engine announcing that a new webpage mentioning you has been indexed. When you open it, it’s a link to an illegal copy of your debut novel.

There you are, carefully running a half price promotion, and somebody else is giving it away illegally for free. All your hard work stolen and distributed without your permission – you have every right to be cross.

However, having your work pirated is not the disaster you may think. There is very little overlap between people who are prepared to pay for books and people who steal books. If thieves can’t find an illegal copy of your book, they’ll probably download something else for free instead. Readers who are happy to pay for books don’t generally go looking for free alternatives.

Having your work pirated gains exposure, yes among knobheads, but knobheads are people too – people with friends and family who are only partial knobheads, who have friends and family who aren’t knobheads at all. Piracy is bloody annoying, but it can lead to sales.

If you wish to fight the copyright theft, first try to contact the owner of the site that’s illegally sharing your work and politely ask him or her to remove it. If that fails, you could send a cease and desist letter threatening legal action. The next step is to initiate legal proceedings. However, unless you can prove substantial loss of earnings, I recommend stamping your feet a few times and moving on.

Do not let the pirates ruin your day. If you decide to blog about your experience, you could take a selfie whilst dressed up as a pirate. Dressing up as a pirate brightens any day

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